When the Virginia football team heads to Hawaii for its Christmas bowl game, it will be facing an opponent that has become all too familiar over the last five years. The Cavaliers (6-5) learned Sunday they will play in the Oahu Bowl Christmas Eve against No. 24 Georgia, the third time in five seasons the two teams have faced each other in a bowl.
The Oahu Bowl will kick off at 8:30 p.m. the night before Christmas and will be shown nationwide on ESPN. Its sister bowl, the Aloha Bowl, will pit Arizona State against Boston College at 3:30 p.m. Christmas Day.
The Georgia Bulldogs (7-4), the ninth team in the 12-team SEC to receive a bowl bid, may be without coach Jim Donnan, who was fired Monday. Donnan has not indicated whether he will coach the team in the Oahu Bowl. The Dawgs were expected to contend for their first conference title since 1982 but instead capped a disappointing regular season with a loss to bitter rival Georgia Tech.
Georgia and Virginia have squared off in a pair of recent Peach Bowl thrillers. In 1998, the Bulldogs rallied from a 21-0 deficit to eke out a 35-33 win when Cavalier placekicker Todd Braverman's 48-yard field goal drifted wide right with 19 seconds left. The Cavaliers won the 1995 contest in the final minute when Demetrius "Pete" Allen scampered 83 yards for the game-winning touchdown to give Virginia a 34-27 victory.
Pioneers in their field
Four Virginia field hockey players received the honored distinction Monday of being named to the first-ever Virginia Sports Information Directors' All-State field hockey team.
Senior goalkeeper Becky Worthington, senior back Julia Richardson, junior midfielder Carrie Goodloe and senior forward Lorraine Vizzuso were all-state selections.
Football awards abound
Nine football players received team awards at the Virginia Annual Football Banquet Sunday.
Tailback Antwoine Womack was named the Ben Wilson Award winner as the team's outstanding offensive player. Womack led the Cavaliers and the ACC conference in rushing.
The Ned McDonald Award for the team's outstanding defensive player went to outside linebacker Byron Thweatt, who recorded 325 tackles this season.
Offensive lineman Kevin Bailey was named the team's most outstanding first year.
Defensive tackle Monsanto Pope, defensive end Darryl Sanders, middle linebacker Yubrenal Isabelle, center Dustin Keith, fullback John Duckett and linebacker William Clark also were award winners.
Christmas comes with gifts
Jonathon Christmas, a student at Lower Merion High in Ardmore, Pa., heads up the Virginia men's lacrosse team's list of seven early signees for the 2002 season. Christmas is a two-time high school All-American and was the Pennsylvania player of the year last season.
Jack deVilliers and Brendan Gill of Lutherville, Md., Hunter Kass of Rye, N.Y., Jared Little of Black River, N.Y., Matt Panquet of Demarest, N.J. and Joe Yevoli of Massapequa, N.Y. were the other early signees.
Trio set to volley
The Virginia women's volleyball team announced the signing of three players to letters of intent two weeks ago. Alexis Geocaris of Wilmette, Ill., Celeste Laborde of New Orleans and Lily Phillips of Phoenix committed to play with Virginia next season.